A Holistic Approach to Preserving Brain Health: Costantino Iadecola, MD


The director of the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medicine discussed ways to use a comprehensive approach when maintaining brain health. [WATCH TIME: 7 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 7 minutes

"Maintaining brain health requires a convergence of medical and societal efforts that need to work together, mainly directly along the lines of prevention through a lifestyle that is conducive to maintaining and promoting brain health.”

Brain health is a reference to a patient’s functions in the brain across several aspects which include their cognitive health, motor function, emotional function, and tactile function.1 According to the National Institute on Aging, brain health can be impacted by age-related changes in the brain, injuries such as stroke or traumatic brain injury, mood disorders such as depression, substance use disorder or addiction, and diseases such as Alzheimer disease.1 Although there are some factors that affect brain health that may not be able to be changed, patients can focus on other modifiable lifestyle choices that might make a difference.

Many lifestyle choices are important for maintaining brain health as a patient age later into life. Research shows that there are several key areas of lifestyle choices that offer the opportunity for patients to positively impact their brain health, according to a review published in Frontiers in Medicine.2 In the review, researchers noted that stabilizing mental well-being, performing regular exercise, doing cognitively stimulating activities, having a consistent sleep schedule, healthy diet, and feeling of social connectedness are essential factors for brain health.

Costantino Iadecola, MD, the Ann Parish Titzell professor of neuroscience and director of the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medicine, recently sat down with NeurologyLive® in an interview to discuss how important blood pressure control is in preserving brain health. In addition, he also talked about other lifestyle factors that contribute significantly to preserving the health of the brain. Furthermore, Iadecola explained the reason why social engagement is emphasized as important for brain health in the older population of patients.

1. National Insititute on Aging. Cognitive Health and Older Adults. Accessed March 29, 2024. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/brain-health/cognitive-health-and-older-adults
2. Mintzer J, Donovan KA, Kindy AZ, Lock SL, Chura LR, Barracca N. Lifestyle Choices and Brain Health. Front Med (Lausanne). 2019;6:204. Published 2019 Oct 4. doi:10.3389/fmed.2019.00204
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